Ariarne Titmus wins GOLD! Australian swimming superstar beats American Katie Ledecky at Tokyo Olympics
Ariarne Titmus has made it two out of two against Katie Ledecky after winning her second gold medal in the 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 20-year-old Australian, who was a firm favorite in the final against America’s greatest ever female swimmer, produced another extended swim to take consecutive wins over the American legend.
It was Titmus’ second gold of two events to date, with the 4x200m medley relay and 800m freestyle still to go – where she will try to take two more golds from Ledecky.
Titmus, who was about 150m behind the race, produced an incredible final 50m to produce her second Olympic record of the meet.
“I don’t think it will settle down when I’m home. I have to compartmentalize everything,” she told Channel 7’s pool reporter right after the swim.
“I’m thinking about the relay and the 800 meters now.”
Ledecky didn’t even medal and came in fifth place far behind Titmus. Australian Madison Wilson finished eighth.
The medal brings Australia’s gold total to six, four from Australia’s superstar swimmers and two more from the men’s and women’s rowing four.
She joins 20-year-old backstroke star Kaylee McKeown and the women’s 4x100m relay team of Cate and Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris and Emma McKeon as the country’s golden girls to date.
The 200m and 400m freestyle were Titmus’ strongest events, but she is expected to medal in her remaining two.
Ariarne Titmus has made it two out of two against Katie Ledecky after winning her second gold medal in the 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics
The 20-year-old Australian, who was a strong favorite in the final against America’s greatest ever female swimmer, produced another extended swim to take consecutive wins over the American legend
Titmus’ opening 100m saw her outside the medal positions, but the Aussie is known for her lightning-fast finishes.
She and Ledecky were both behind as they got into the second half of the race, with Titmus turning on the afterburners as she turned around with one change to go.
The 20-year-old put in another incredible last 50 meters to claim her second gold from two events.
Her coach Dean Boxall, who went viral with his celebration following her stunning 400m freestyle victory, couldn’t hold back.
The long blond-haired swim coach ran screaming and fisting out of the stands as Titmus came in for her second gold.
Other swimmers and coaches cheered on Boxall in the background as the colorful coach yelled for his swimmer.
Titmus, who trailed about 150m from the race, produced an incredible final 50m to set her second Olympic record of the meet
A nice hug: Titmus was spotted hugging Boxall after the race while fist punching another coach
The swim comes after Titmus’ legendary plunge in the 400m freestyle, where she followed Ledecky for 300m before producing a stunning final two laps to catch up with the American legend.
Titmus, who was the overwhelming favorite for the event, stormed home to take gold from Ledecky and end her unparalleled Olympic dominance.
It was the opening battle between the pair whose rivalry will define the Games.
Anticipating Titmus’ success, US broadcaster NBC quietly sent a camera crew to Brisbane to follow the child prodigy’s preparation for the Olympics.
They were aware of her reputation and threat to American legend, a word not as widely spread as Ledecky’s teammate Lilly King proclaimed that the USA would win every individual swimming event – echoing the arrogance of villainous Gary Hall Jnr. of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. .
Hall Jr famously said that the US 4×100 relay team would “crush Australia like guitars” before Ian Thorpe chased him to win gold for the Aussies, break a world record and have the team celebrate poolside by playing air guitars.
King quickly retracted her words after seeing the young Aussie team’s trial form, saying, “She wasn’t trying to boot.”
Titmus, meanwhile, continued her work despite being constantly belittled by her arch-rival Ledecky, who in interviews would only refer to the young Aussie as “she” and said “you don’t win medals in trials” when told about her form .
Golden Girl: Titmus beams as she holds up the gold medal in the women’s 400m freestyle
The Tasmanian-born star and her family raised their roots from the island nation when she was just 14 and already a three-time champion, with her father Steve telling them to move north to pursue her Olympic dream.
“Tasmania does not provide the structure for a swimmer who has reached Ariarne’s level and wants to explore his full potential,” her father said in 2015
“This has been a very difficult and stressful decision for the whole family as we love Tasmania and its people, but we have no choice. The decision is also not just based on Ariarne’s swimming, but long-term opportunities for the whole family.
“The regret in life is not what you have done, but what you have not done and we want to give not only Ariarne, but also her sister Mia, the best chances in life, not only in sports but for their future education and working career.’
The move was a successful one, with Titmus adding gold in the 400, favorite for the 200 and to battle hard for the 4x200m relay and 800m.